I try to save enough vacation time for the end of the year so that, when I leave for Christmas, I don’t have to come back until after New Year’s day. This year was no exception. Of course, some of that time is spent visiting children and grandchildren because family is much of what the holiday season is all about. But, there are always a few days left that are just there. This year I’m spending some of that time re-organizing my office (mostly to remove a nagging excuse for not doing more writing – I will finish the next book soon!). That won’t take care of all the free time though.
I love movies and I always use some of my holiday break to see new movies at the theater and re-visit old favorites at home. This carousel stand holds about half of my movie collection, so there are a lot to choose from when I plop down in my recliner with the remote.
But the odd thing is that, every year, I find myself returning to a few select favorite movies. They aren’t necessarily the best movies ever made, although I think that they’re all good. The common factor is that each one of them is simply a movie that I enjoy watching. They’re kind of like old friends who I never get tired of seeing and who always make me smile when they walk in the door. A psychologist could probably look at this list and in short order dissect my psyche.
This year, for a variety of reasons, I’m really looking forward to my movie time. So, without further delay here’s the list of movies that grace the top shelf of my DVD carousel, always in easy reach whenever I need some quality time with a dear friend.
15) Notting Hill – I have no explanation for this other than everyone has at least one embarrassing guilty pleasure.
14) The Undefeated – John Wayne, Rock Hudson and two pro-football players in a western. How can you top that?
13) The Wrath of Khan – “He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him. I’ll chase him round the Moons of Nibia and round the Antares Maelstrom and round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” I’m waiting for a chance to use that line in real life…probably just before I start early retirement.
12) Air Force One – “Get off my plane!” This is my idea of how a President should handle terrorists.
11) Double Jeopardy – I like tough women, and Ashley Judd in this movie is as tough as you get.
10) Braveheart – I have both Scottish and Irish ancestry. Somewhere deep down inside I hope that one of my ancestors stood on that field with William Wallace. (Besides that, the line by the young French hand maiden when she’s talking to the Princess in the hallway always cracks me up.)
9) The Holiday – Well, it does have Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, but mostly it’s the same reason as #15. I guess I have two guilty pleasures.
8) Quigley Down Under – If I’d been a cowboy in the 1800’s, I would have wanted to be like Quigley.
7) Underworld/Underworld Evolution – A chance to be with Kate Beckensale for eternity? Here, let me unbutton the collar on my shirt for you.
6) Haichi – This movie, which is based on a true story, proves that dogs are superior to humans. If you don’t cry at the end of this movie, you have no heart…and no soul.
5) Taken – “I will find you and I will kill you.” Any father who has a daughter felt himself saying that line under the same circumstances. I so want to crawl into that movie to help Liam Neeson kick some butt.
4) The Lord of The Rings series – I really, really want to reincarnate as an elf. I’m not bad with a bow, and I think I could get used to the ears. Besides, when I was young I looked pretty good in a ponytail. Unfortunately, with my luck I’d probably come back as a dwarf.
3) Groundhog Day – I truly would like the chance to fix all the mistakes I’ve made in life and I have a list of about a half dozen evenings out that I’d love to be able to re-live a few hundred times until the memory of them was indelibly burned into my soul. (All of them were with my wife of course.)
2) Avatar – I love a good western, especially one set on another planet where the Indians win and Zoe Saldana plays the lead. Again we have the tough women thing. It seems like there’s a pattern emerging.
1) Avengers – Simply the best Marvel Comics movie ever made. Scarlett Johansson…yep, there’s definitely a pattern.
There’s my list of favorite movies. Honestly, it changes a bit from year to year. But mostly it just gets a little longer. Good friends, best friends, are hard to find. You should never trade them in for a new model. So, tell me. What’s on your list of go to movies when you need cheered up or just entertained? If there are any psychologists out there, take your best shot. I’ll let you know how close you came.